September 02, 2014

Chabuton @ 313 Somerset ~ Prestigious Ramen Chain From Japan Opens Its First Singapore Outlet!

Since the opening of its first Chiba outlet in year 2005, Chabuton has seen rapid expansion growth to the current 9 shops in Japan and 14 shops in Thailand! Wow! Is it popular? Definitely yes! Is it delicious? Well, now with the opening of its first Singapore outlet at 313 Somerset (so convenient!), local ramen aficionados have no reason not to visit the noodle joint and judge for themselves. Tonkotsu ramen, here we come!

Boasting recipes by Mr. Yasuji Morizumi who is named "King of Ramen" from TV Champion (TV Tokyo Station) and is the first ramen chef to achieve a Michelin star for his restaurant in Hong Kong, expectations for Chabuton naturally ran high.

All ingredients used are either imported from Japan or are sourced/produced by specially appointed companies by the Japanese headquarter team.

A ramen bowl at Chabuton is reasonably affordable, with a junior portion of their signature Tonkotsu Ramen starting at just $8.30, and goes up to $15.90 for an "upsize" bowl which has extra slices of char siew for the hearty appetites. It was still not enough for us. Everyone at our table opted for the special add-ons of Soft Boiled Egg & Buta Kakuni ($3) too! #truefoodies

If the doneness of my egg and braised pork belly can be customized, I would prefer the former to have a runnier yolk and latter to have a more tender bite. Fortunately the noodles (soft to hard), as well as the pork bone broth's oil and saltiness level (low to high) can be adjusted to our personal liking. What's "normal" for each component suited me just fine.

The texture of my noodles was springy and good, but its alkaline aftertaste knocked down the enjoyment by a few levels. Perhaps the lighter salt-favored broth of my bowl of Shio Ramen ($8.30 to $15.40) was a poor companion, and the heavier-flavored Miso Ramen ($8.60 to $15.90), spicy Kara Kara Miso Ramen ($13.40) or Japanese soy-sauce Shoyu Ramen ($8.30 to $15.40) would have done a better job of masking the undesirous taste.

Those who prefer a lighter handling for their tonkotsu would appreciate that the pork bone broth at Chabuton is not as intensely rich and creamy compared to other popular ramen houses in Singapore, but still adequately flavorful. Can easily slurp to the last drop without feeling jerlat.

Perennial consort to ramen, deep-fried Hitokuchi Gyoza ($5) came with too thick skin and scrawny body to win any favor from us. We wish to see more plump-up dumplings for the soupy variant Soup Gyoza ($5) too. Other side dishes include Chicken Tatsuta Age/Fried Chicken ($5), Ika Karaage/Fried Squid ($5), Kaki Fry/Fried Oyster ($6) and Potato Korokke/Fried Potato Cakes ($2).

For a change from the usual, Shoyu Zaru Ramen ($10.50 to $11.90) of thin-style cold ramen dipped in warm Japanese soy sauce soup or Char Siew Don ($4) of braised pork over white rice would make decent alternatives.

Chabuton is also known for their specialty ramen offerings such as Tom Yam Ramen, Tomato Soup Ramen, as well as European-style Consomme Ramen with bacon and zucchini which they have launched over the years in their various outlets! We hope to see some unique localized creations for our Singapore branch soon too! I'd be back then :)

Address: 313 Somerset, 313 Orchard Road #B2-01, Singapore 238895
Contact: +65 6636 8335
Opening Hours: Daily 11.30am to 10pm

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